I write a lot about politics, and I get many replies. I'm a Liberal and I'm clear about that. But I disagree strongly with a "my team, right or wrong" attitude towards politics. So I'd like to explain why I dislike some replies I receive from my own "team." #cdnpoli 1/12
I don't think Conservatives are evil. I don't think they are trying to corrupt our country. I don't think they are just like Trump who is just like <insert extreme example here>. I don't think we need to defeat them at all costs to save ourselves from destruction. #cdnpoli 2/12
Doing anything "at all costs" in politics is a mutual destruction pact. It guarantees we twist every tool available until the foundation of our democracy is broken. And yes, some people feel their cause is so urgent it's worth it, on all sides. They're wrong. #cdnpoli 3/12
If we treat those who we disagree with as an existential threat to our values, they'll treat us the same way. It's unavoidable. And it forces everyone into a position where they feel justified, even compelled, to do literally anything to win - just to survive. #cdnpoli 4/12
So yes, it's satisfying to use extreme language. But it's also wrong and dangerous, unless and until it's truly called for. Otherwise, once everyone who we disagree with is "evil" already, there's no chance of spotting true evil when it shows up. #cdnpoli 5/12
There are some genuinely dangerous leaders in the world. They don't all belong to one party or ideology. If we back our own team automatically, we may even end up supporting one of those true psychopaths without realizing it. It's happened to good people before. #cdnpoli 6/12
My mother was conservative to the end of her life. A complex conservative (small-c) to be sure. But many of her views led to strong disagreements between us. That's life. And that's the fabric of Canadian society. We argue, but then we live together. #cdnpoli 7/12
Comparing Canada to the current mess in America is unfair to our strengths and the values that bind us. No one is trying to delegitimize our elections. No one is inviting foreign powers to intervene. No one is saying the system itself is rigged. Thank God. #cdnpoli 8/12
I believe even those I disagree with offer important insights and views. I believe most of them are good people, at heart. Even where I believe absolutely in certain values, I know we can't move society along with force alone. We need dialogue and persuasion. #cdnpoli 9/12
Yes, I take down Conservative stupidity, at times. I consider that a public service. And you know what? Some Liberal stupidity needs taking down at times also. I leave that task to others. But to pretend it isn't needed would be arrogant in the extreme. #cdnpoli 10/12
Conservatives bug me, but they don't scare me. And I'm not trying to scare them. Because I know they'll leave quietly when they're voted out, just as I know they'll be voted in again eventually too. And we still move forward together, despite it all. #cdnpoli 11/12
Bottom line, political decisions can be life or death. I know. But despite the stakes, I still believe in the good intentions of all involved, even when I disagree with their choices. Let's hold onto that. Because the alternative is just too ugly to contemplate. #cdnpoli 12/12
/13 The replies I generated here were predictable, I suppose. Including the inevitable Hitler references. When you compare your political opponents to someone who needs to be assassinated, you really can't be surprised when they feel the need to defend by any means necessary.
/14 Electoral reform has been raised several times in this conversation. I absolutely agree our current system, creating winner-take-all false majorities, is part of the problem. I've made a note, and it'll be the subject of my next minor twitter essay.